This Sandberg California is really special. It is Danish player Ida Nielsen's signature instrument in 5 string version. Ida has been part of bands such as Zap Mama (Belgium) and more recently Prince's New Power Generation & 3rdeyegirl.
It is based on a standard Sandberg TM bass, meaning it has a classic offset body with a bolt on maple neck and Single-Humbucker pickups.
It has been designed for players who need a really versatile and powerful bass and can be used for hours without fatigue (it is really lighteight and balanced). Classic body and neck dimensions (38mm nut) make this a really comfortable bass to play. Finish is absolutely perfect and that's something we've come to expect from these great 100% German made instruments.
This bass in particular comes with the new and improved Sandberg + pickups as well as a Sandberg active-passive 2 band EQ. In our opinion that's a winning combination.
These are Ida's special apppointments andf we have to say she was dead rigth when she chose them. Check them out:
- Soft aged finish. You get the look and feel of an instrument that has been played for some time but treated right.
- Gold hardware
- Bird's eye maple fingerboard with black block inlays
- "Silk" style pickguard
- Luminlay side dots
- Two marks on the balance pot for Ida's personal favourite sounds.
- The bass has gone through a 400 hour vibrating process. This mimics what happens when an instrument is played for a number of hours. Wood cells connect in a different manner and this translates into a slightly less harsh sound which is what you usually get when you buy a new bass. In other words, it's like playing a bass that has already been broken in. We love it.
We find it remarkable that Ida has chosen some really cool features for this bass. Instead of going for some fancy and sometimes useless wiring or non practical specs, all of Ida's appointments are dead right. This comes from a very active live player and we can feel that.
The sound of the bass in passive is pretty much on the classic side. Active mode brings punch and detail if needed. We dig the fact that the Treble pot acts like a Passve Tone in that mode. Cool. You might expect some aftermarket pickups on a signature bass but Sandberg's own pickups and electronics are so good that we are happy that Ida chose them.
The low B is just perfect: powerful and clear with perfect blend with the other 4 strings, something that is not always easy to get.
To sum up: a lightweight and comfortable bass that is just gorgeous, sounds great and has some really cool features.
Sandberg California Ida Nielsen Signature 5